Friday, June 29, 2007

Kenneth Dylan!!!

Kenneth Dylan weighed:
8 pounds
13 ounces!

And came into the world after the longest
labor ever!

Congrats A and K!

He's a beast, and soooo
f*cking cute!!

Holy Mary! You guys are parents.
God help us all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What a Great Weekend!

Dad comes home with new heart plumbing....

Olivia Kayla comes into the world...

King Belvedere releases a record....

And Ryder memorizes the first ten elements of the Periodic Table.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thumbs Up!

This is my Daddy-O, three days post op.
Can you believe it?
Dad continues to surprise and astound us, and its only getting better.
Mom is doing great too, taking extra care of my Dad.
You would definitely want her at your bedside if
you're ever in the hospital.
She washes his hair, puts chap stick on his lips,
empties the bedside commode,
picks up the suction catheter off of the floor,
cuts up his food,
constantly encourages him to move his feet and make fists out of his hands,
bugs the nurses for footies, and even does suture care.
I just take pictures of "superman".
That's what he calls himself.
And now I totally believe him.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


My Dad is doing amazing. I still sit here and shake my head in disbelief because it's so incredible. Today his second art line was pulled, another one of his IV's, and the remainder of his chest tubes. He was moved to the Cardiac Telemetry unit for the rest of his hospital course, and on his way over, he was yelling, "beep! beep!" down the hallway!

He's not hooked up to any sort of external cardiac monitoring. It's a telemetry unit, so the leads from inside his chest are connected to a portable box which reads his vital signs- sends them directly over to the nursing station. That's fantastic news...but, sort of scary news if you're the daughter of William Yau. Because he's the kinda guy who's gonna try and get up to go to the bathroom all by himself in the middle of the night because he won't want to bother any of the nurses (yes, even his foley is out). And what's stopping him? Nothing. He's not hooked up to anything, his chest tubes are gone, there are no lines of IVs hanging anywhere to make him possibly ask for help. He's a free man. Good Lord.

We got to talking about whether or not he remembered anything, and if he was scared, etc. His face grew red and he started to cry when he said that when he woke up, he was sooo happy that he knew where he was, that he knew why he was there, and that he didn't have anything happen to his brain. Like me, that was his greatest fear. Since they were working so close to the vessels that lead to his brain, one of his biggest risks of the surgery was throwing a clot, causing a stroke. He was relieved that he felt everything, that he could move his arms and legs, and that he knew where he was- and that he knew what he wanted to do- and say. Relieved to say the least. Then of course, my mom started to cry, and then of course, I started to cry...I guess we are that family that cries at moments of extreme happiness...because that's why I was crying. I'm so ridiculously happy. Father's Day will certainly mean something different this year.

I was telling Scott when I got home that I felt weird. Weird in a sense that I have nothing left to worry about. I've been worrying for what has been about 6 weeks. And tonight, I think I can truly say that I have nothing more to worry about. Even if he does fall on the way to the bathroom because he wants to do it himself, he'll be fine. He's got a crazy sense of honor, strength and pride that I can't match, and that's what's going to keep him around me for a long, long time. No more worrying. If you could see his face right now, you'd never believe that his chest was wide open two days ago for eight hours. You just wouldn't believe it.


Living In His Own Personal Hell

"Nobooooddddyyyyy KNOOOWWSSSS...
the trouble I see......
Nobbbbooodddyyy KNOOOWWWSSS...
Thank You.
Blue, the Cat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I've Never Been More Proud

8:00 am:

Me: Good Morning, can I speak to the nurse taking care of William Yau?

Receptionist: Please hold......(holding....holding....holding....aww come on, report's over..what's going on??)....hold on please.

Jason: CICU, this is Jason.

Me: Hi, this is William's daughter, are you the nurse taking care of him today?

Jason: Yes, I am.

Me: How did he do last night? Is he alright?

Jason: Oh, he's doing great! I actually have him up sitting in a chair, and he's eating breakfast.

Me: WHAT??? Oh my GOD!!!! (Scott wonders WTF is going on) You mean, he's extubated? He's sitting up? He's EATING???

Jason: Yes, yes! Your father's actually doing really well. He finally woke up this morning around 5:30, and we extubated him at around 6:30. His blood gases have been really good since then!

I am elated. I haven't been this excited and happy in a long time. I jump out of bed, run into the shower, and I'm out the door by nine. I absolutely can not wait to see him.

I get to the hospital and find parking, and by 9:30, I'm walking briskly past the atrium where my husband, my mom, and I waited all day yesterday. I see new families camped out there today, some wrapped in blankets, sleeping- some on the computer, some reading, some staring off into space. I think to myself that I'm happy that I'm not there anymore, and then I think that its CRAZY that I was just there yesterday, and today my Dad is sitting up and eating.

I get to his room, and there he was. Sitting up in his chair. He was sleeping, and the breakfast tray sitting in front of him was empty. I walked in quietly, with a huge smile on my face, and just as I put my bag full of books and magazines down, he looked up, smiled, and said, "hi tilly! ohhhh good daughter"! I give him the biggest hug ever, and I have never been more proud.

He's doing exceptionally well. And I'm in awe of medicine today, where aggressive recovery is actually supposed to work better than slow rest. Through the course of today, they've taken out his swan (a catheter threaded into his heart chambers to monitor cardiac function and output), one of his art lines, and two JP drains. The PICU nurse in me was like, "are you SURE you need to take all of that out now?" Back in my day, that stuff stayed in just in case. Back in my day, I think, things were different. God, I'm old. I talked to Dad's nurse practitioner, and she agreed. Protocols have changed recently in the last 5 years. When she was just a mere bedside cardiac nurse, the post op patients remained tubed, paralyzed and sedated for at least the evening, and into mid morning the next day. This is all just crazy.

He had lunch, took another nap, and then went for a walk. That's right, you heard me, a WALK. The physical therapist, nurse, mom and I all rolled up our sleeves and got him presentable, packed up his remaining chest tubes and lines, hooked him up to the portable monitor, and went on our merry way. He took off down the hallway, prompting the physical therapist to tell him to slow down. I kept asking mom to ask Dad if he was dizzy, if he hurt anywhere....all Dad would say was, " problem." He'd walked past others in the hall and smile, and do the "thumbs up" sign. Its all unbelievable.

We got him tucked back into bed....and he got a percocet. He went to sleep immediately, with a very very happy look on his face, like he had climbed a mountain. And he has. He definitely has. There were no other concerns today, except for minor fluctuations in his blood pressure. They have a target goal for him, to keep his pressures lower than 110 systolic- for his new aorta. But, they also don't want it to be lower than 80 systolic. And it's dipped that low a few times today, scaring me, of course- but just another day in the office for these nurses. Its also been high as well today- but apparently that's been a good indication of pain for him (because he consistently denies any pain verbally), and he'd get percocet, and his blood pressure would come back down.

I'm home now, and I miss him. I can't wait to see him again tomorrow. He'll be transferred to the step-down, or telemetry unit tomorrow- if all goes well this evening. And it will.

And I've never EVER been more proud of my Dad.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Dad looked great. He had great color, his dressings were clean and dry, and the three chest tubes coming from under his incision looked like they were draining perfectly. When I walked in, I admit I had been preparing myself for the worst all day. But, I was happy that he looked good. He was on a bunch of pressors, and still tubed, and getting a fresh bag of plasma.

I wanted to jump right in, and start taking care of him. When his blood pressure started dipping and his alarm started sounding, I wanted to reach out and up his dobutamine. When the respiratory therapist was suctioning him (nope, couldn't watch)- I wanted to yell from behind the curtain after she said, "hmmm, not getting anything"...and say, "does he have a plug"? I wanted to check his pupils...I wanted to strip his chest tubes...and most of all, I wanted him to squeeze my hand before I left for the evening.

But he was still sleeping when we left. And I left the nurses and the docs to do their job. They told us that it may take a while for him to wake up, because he was pretty much under for 8 hours, and he's still heavily sedated. I hope he sleeps until morning. Because I don't want him to wake up in the middle of the night, and be afraid.

When I got home, I called right away for an update. He's stable right now, and the only problem he's having is that he's a little acidotic. They gave him some bicarb..and they'll check his gas again in an hour. I'll check in on him once more before bed, and pray to any god/deity that will listen that he'll be alright. And he's still sleeping.

Thanks for all of the text messages and IMs and phone've all helped me through today. One day down, and lets hope the rest of his hospital stay only gets better from here on out. That he walks out of the hospital with merely a scar on his chest that he can blame on a shark attack would be fantastic.

And I promise, if he does well- I will never- ever-ever make fun of pictures of Daddy that look like this:

Or this:

or this:

A Crazy Mighty Heart

6:30 am:

Only one member in the prep area allowed with Dad. I hope my mom knows where to find me. They ushered all of us additional family members out of the small check in area and sent us to a larger waiting atrium, filled with sunlight, and even trees. I watch everyone grab seats, setting up camp for what will be a long day for many of us, I think. I hope my mom knows where to find me. We're nowhere near the small check-in area where her and dad left me. I hope I get to see my dad and say, "love ya, see ya later!!" before he goes in....

I'm nervous. Jesus. If I'm nervous, I wonder how my dad feels....

6:55 am:

Got to see Dad. My mom put up a stink and didn't want to leave Dad's side- and sent a disgruntled OR prep nurse out to come and get me. Apparently, my mom was supposed to leave so I could go in and see...but mom was not budging.

He looked so scared. They had taken his full set of dentures out in preparation for the surgery, and he looks soooo vulnerable. They put in an IV, and were working on an art-line when I came in. I met the OR nurse who will be with him the entire time, as well as the anesthesiologist. Everyone seems to be in great spirits, and this seems like a walk in the park for the entire surgical staff. It better be. Dad's blood pressure was 180/90. Poor guy is soooo scared. But he's putting on a crazy brave face. So am I.

Mom and I kiss him and say, "love you".....I refuse to say "good-bye". I choose "see ya later, have a nice nap."

10:00 am:

First doing good...although he's not on bypass yet.

12:00 pm:

Second update....everything proceeding as planned. No curve balls. He's been on-pump now for about an hour.

2:00 pm:

The families here wait for news....whenever a surgeon, doctor, nurse, or anyone in a set of scrubs walks into the atrium, you can look up and see that everyone is staring at them, hoping that they'd come their way with any info regarding how surgery went. The person in scrubs looks back at the crowd, searching for a familiar face...this happens about every two hours or so. Dad's been in surgery for what I think has been six hours already..and at ten of two, I couldn't take it anymore, and went straight to the receptionist so she could call the OR directly, and let me know what's going on.

Finally..Dad is off-pump. That's great news...that means they got the heart pumping on its own again. Way to go DAD!!!! Jeez, he sure wants to dance, doesn't he? Dad is off-pump. I remember working in the PICU, and getting post-op heart kids, and the hardest part was getting them off pump. Kinda like the heart just forgets what it needs to do for a little bit, and gets lazy. Well, not my dad. He's ready to go dancing.

OK. Just spoke with the Nurse practitioner. Everything is going smoothly, they're closing him up. He's "oozy" a little, so they're going to watch him closely for bleeding. He'll probably get a few more transfusions tonight. He did well, except for the fact that they had to graft more of the aorta then they had previously thought, from the aortic valve, to past the arteries to the brain. Originally they were only going to graft right up to the arteries to the brain. She mentioned that had he waited any longer without seeing a doctor, he would've been in pretty bad shape- say in three months.

He's going to be fine. I know it. I'm just preparing myself to see him in the ICU. He'll have leads coming out of his chest so they can quickly do whatever they need to do should his heart decide it wants to be lazy again. He'll be on a couple of pressors, like dobutamine and metoprolol. And he'll have a central line, a PIV, and an art line. And, of course, he'll still be intubated. Hopefully the next time I see him (after today), he'll be extubated. I don't want him to try to talk to me....I know he'll try. He'll point, he'll try to talk like nothing is in his airway. I know my Dad. And it will be hard for me to tell him to stop. And it will be hard for me to look at my Dad's eyes, because they're sooo expressive. And I certainly don't want to be around when they suction him. Small potatoes for what he's going through, but when they suction and he gags and chokes and sputters, I'll be in the hallway, thank you.

I can't wait till this month is over. Til Dad is back home, and playing with Ryder....til he's telling me and my freakishly tall husband about his night out dancing. Til he looks at me again without the looming fear of surgery..can't wait can't wait can't wait.....

4:00 pm:

The cardiothoracic surgeon who plays tennis with my father-in-law came by and gave us the latest....he's done!!! He's headed up to the ICU, and we should be able to see him in about an hour. "This isn't the kind of surgery anyone wants to have, but he did great. We did as much as we could do, without doing too much, because sometimes too much is just that. Too much." Eh? Ok. I'm just happy that he's doing ok right now. One little baby step at a time. He talked about cooling down Dad's body, and how they kept his brain perfused, and how his aorta was very sclerosed, with fatty particles hanging off of it, flapping in the wind like butter. Sweet baby Jesus, Dad, you're lucky.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Chief Sherpa's Picture

Chief Sherpa's
picture just might be worth something.
What are people willing to give me????
Cause she just might kill me.
But it would be worth it.

By Popular Demand.....

They Play Hard to GET, just like US!!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Wanna Be Lindsay

I got a wicked picture of Chief Sherpa in Vegas that would make
Lindsay Lohan's
picture look like
a pretty baby sleeping after a
nice, warm, bottle of milk.

Anyone wanna see it?